Hiking｜how to choose hiking socks and shoes?
How to choose a pair of hiking socks and shoes for a comfortable trek? Don't miss the tips on how to tie your hiking boots too.
How to choose your hiking socks: 3 criteria - the use, the duration of the walk and the shoe height.
2. How to choose hiking socks based on the walk duration
The longer the walk, the greater the breathability required. Some socks also feature ventilated knitting to facilitate perspiration wicking whilst remaining comfortable.
(A "long" walk = over 4 hours of walking)
3. How to choose hiking socks based on the height of your hiking shoes
The height of your socks must always be greater or equivalent to that of your shoes in order to avoid rubbing of the ankle.
How to choose hiking shoes or trekking boots?
Now you know how to choose hiking socks. Do you have the same knowledge on how to choose hiking shoes or trekking boots? Choosing a pair of trekking boots can be tricky, and requires a good understanding of the type of trails you are going to walk on.
We have identified 3 types of terrain:
- passable paths
- uneven trails
- off the beaten track
Consider what benefits you need for your boots, depending on the type of terrain:
- boots' flexibility
- level of sturdiness and protection
- level of overall support
How to choose hiking shoes for passable paths
For large paths, which are not too challenging, best to opt for flexible boots. They actually allow natural heel-to-toe transition, and you'll effortlessly cover plenty of kilometres. To make it heavier, protections are included in the most strategic areas : forefoot and heel. Lastly, the high-cut upper on these models provide good heel support, without making them too stiff, but serving to compensate for small footing misjudgement owing to tiredness, without restricting the joint's range of motion.
How to choose hiking shoes for uneven trails
For narrow and uneven mountain trails, you have to select stiffer boots for extra support and agility on the technical sections: rocky slabs, embankments, muddy ascent or descent, etc. These more technical trails are "harsher" on the boots than passable paths. This is why, in general, there is greater protection and the materials are more durable, providing an overlapping effect. The boot collar offers extra support on models made for uneven terrain, making it more comfortable on broken ground or embankments.
How to choose hiking shoes for the beaten tracks
Lastly, on the beaten tracks, cairns are often your only point of reference. It is preferable to opt for stiff and higher cut boots with maximum protection.
And the soles?
When looking at hiking shoes, you need to know how to choose the sole as well, whose grip and adhesion provide protection. That’s why all models of Forclaz’s boots come with the maximum amount of adhesion fit for trekking on all types of terrain.
It's our commitment to safety. One more tip before you set off - how to tie hiking boots!
How to tie hiking boots
Often neglected, the lacing of shoes is an essential part of a comfortable trek. For this we recommend a shoe with high upper for better support of the foot and ankle, and also self-locking hooks.
It all starts with putting the shoe on and we advise you to do this on a slight incline so that your heel is properly wedged into the shoe. This avoids the foot sliding forward which happens all too often when you wear your shoe on the flat.
Then let's get onto the lacing itself. The self-locking hook enables you to detach the lower part from the upper part. For the lower part of the shoe, let's see how to tie hiking boots based on your body shape.
> For those who have a wide foot for example, loosen the front lace well so that the foot remains mobile and is not compressed when walking.
> For those who have a narrow foot, double cross the lacing to tighten the shoe.
> For those who have a strong kick, opt for a lacing style known as straight bar at the location of the kick.
> Finally, for those who lack volume in the shoe, add a sole to make up for this.
Once you've adjusted the bottom of your shoe to fit your body, lock this adjustment with the self-locking hook. (If your shoe does not have this type of hook, simply pass the lace over and under)
Finally, go back over the top and then underneath once more to facilitate the final tightening.
Now, how can you test your fastening?
Find a slope, and twist your ankle laterally to make sure that the support is right for you. Proper lacing should be comfortable.
TIP: YOUR FEET WILL GAIN VOLUME DURING WALKING. SO REMEMBER TO REDO YOUR LACING WHILE YOU'RE TREKKING.